Today, we have another of R.C. Harvey's portraits of cartoonists from years past. This time, he tells us about Marty Links (aka Martha Arguello), the creator of the teen-girl comic strip Bobby Sox. Here's a brief excerpt:
Readers sending her letters usually began “Dear Martin.” Links, responding to such letters, usually added “a little note at the end,” she explained, “saying that I’m not Mister Links but the mother of several children. For many years,” she added, “the National Cartoonists Society [which, until assaulted by Hilda Terry, had been an men-only club] sent all my letters addressed ‘Mister Links.’ I finally sent them an announcement that I’d just had a baby.” (Links was one of the first women admitted to NCS, and other accounts of her encounters with the Society’s sex-myopic bureaucracy report that her response was to offer to send them her bust size.)
In the 1960s, Links began to get letters from feminists. “They’re against Emmy Lou,” she said, “because Emmy is shown sitting by the phone, waiting for a boy to call. They say I’m perpetuating a custom that’s been going on for generations and that it’s wrong. But I feel that I’m just reflecting what’s still happening. I see my own kids doing it, and I’ve done it myself, I’m sorry to say, even at my age. It seems to me that we women are still not [in 1976] in a position where we can just call whomever we want to. However, I try to get in touch with these feminists who write because I’m very much in sympathy with what they’re trying to do.”
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